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Body Weight in Elderly Adults - Weight Loss Study
Body Size in Seniors Caused by Effects of Ageing and Lifestyle
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Height and Body Weight in Elderly Adults

A 21-Year Population Study on Secular Trends and Related Factors in 70-Year-Olds

Body Weight Study Background
Body size in elderly adults is partly due to aging and partly to secular trends. This body weight study describes secular trends in three anthropometric measures (i.e., height, body weight [BW], and body mass index [BMI]) of 70-year-olds over a period of 21 years and their relation to social and lifestyle factors.

Body Weight Study Methods
3128 70-year-olds from 4 birth cohorts born between 1901 and 1922 in Gothenburg, Sweden, were examined between 1971 and 1992 in the Geriatric Medicine Department, Göteborg University. Trends in anthropometric measures were examined by permutation test. Influence of the subjects' birth year, physical activity, smoking habits, and education on anthropometric measures were investigated by multiple linear regression.

Body Weight Study Results
Individuals in later-born cohorts were found to be 1 to 2 cm taller and 1.5 to 6.3 kg heavier than earlier-born cohorts. For BMI, a positive trend was significant only in 70-year-old male participants. "Year of birth" was a positive predictor for body weight and BMI in male participants and for height and body weight in female participants. Physical inactivity was a positive and "current smoking" a negative predictor for BMI in both sexes. "More than basic education" was a positive predictor for height in both sexes and a negative predictor for body weight and BMI in female participants only.

Body Weight Study Conclusion
Trends of increasing height, body weight, and BMI were found among the Swedish elderly participants. This may be partly due to differences in smoking habits, physical activity, education, food habits, childhood nutrition, and living conditions between the cohorts.

Source: The Gerontological Society of America.

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